tv The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann RT May 21, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
to washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture. as antonin scalia famously said back in two thousand there is no constitutional right to vote now some in congress want to change that conversation with congressman mark ok and about his proposed right to vote amendment coming up in just a moment also it's been only a day since the deadly category e.f. five tornado swept through central oklahoma but republicans are already using the tragedy as a political chess piece when will they put partisanship aside and do what's right for the american people about that and more into night's big picture politics panel and believe it or not there's something actually that i agree with fox news is
great huma i'll tell you what it is and why they steal it. you need to know this despite what you may have been taught in your middle and high school civics classes there is no affirmative right to vote laid out the constitution as a result thanks to this major gap in our constitution a legacy frankly of slavery voter suppression efforts have been allowed to take over our electoral and democratic processes in recent years but some lawmakers in washington have had enough of the dirty voter suppression tactics of late are hoping to stop them all making sure that all americans who are eligible to vote can vote as we congressman mark poke out of one of wisconsin and congressman keith ellison of minnesota introduced a bill that would amend the constitution and guarantee the right to vote for all americans earlier today i sat down with congressman polk in and ask him about the
fight to ensure that all americans have the right to vote. congressman mark polk as well as representing the great state of wisconsin thank you thank you for sitting down with me oh absolutely tom thank you very pleased to have this conversation you are right at the leading edge of what is one of the most important issues in the country right now and that is the the affirmative right to vote why why do you feel that there is a need for us to amend the constitution or to pass legislation or to do anything to assert that there is a right to vote is and isn't it isn't it obvious everybody has a right to vote i think everyone assumes that it's inherent in the constitution is a right to vote yet there isn't there's protections against discrimination but there's no affirmative right to vote so what happens in the state of wisconsin where i was in legislature for fourteen years and every other legislature in the
country they see these measures to is inhibit voting whether the registration early voting photo i.d.'s except and what this essentially would do would put the burden on that state to prove that they are not causing a barrier to voting rather than the person who has a bare devoting through a photo i.d. or some other measure having to prove that they've been harmed so it's that vermin of guaranteed to vote in the state of wisconsin we know we've seen these measures when i was in legislature come through is that the right now as an individual you're sort of like presumed guilty until you prove you're innocent you've got to demonstrate straight that you are eligible to vote and that the mechanism is turned upside down and you're try to write it i think this is part of the liberal metaphor well it's like the slippery slope of watching you know the republicans are finding ways to try to stop things too often or those who want to stop voting rights try to find ways to inhibit who can vote so i think when we start seeing the photo id laws
and then changes to early voting and changes to registration this year alone there's easy bills introduced in thirty states they would inhibit somehow. someone's ability to vote and just this year just this year twenty thirteen and they'll be more before the year's over five months and yeah exactly so this this puts the burden on the state to have to then prove that it won't somehow inhibit the vote and you know we've seen long lines at polling places you know in wisconsin our photo id law actually was ruled unconstitutional because of our wisconsin constitution has an affirmative right to vote and we had two major court decisions explicitly said because of our right to vote in wisconsin constitution that they stopped these laws that would have been more restrictive in affected seniors and low income people and students from voting so we saw it work in wisconsin we thought it would make strong sense to have this nationally and that's why we're proposing it wasn't to a certain extent bush v gore the wake up call for all of us and if so how please
explain share with our viewers and listeners how so sure it was explicitly said during the court case that there is not a right to vote in the constitution which really probably was when what started some of these bills really fast tracking realized you know there might be a little bit of a a loophole in the law of how to you know pull forward ways to inhibit that right to vote so that court cases really fundamental and coming from the state of wisconsin you know wisconsin minnesota and maine are usually one two and three in different you know order depending on the year for the turnout we have some of the greatest turnout so we're really proud of people being able to vote early we have same day registration and other measures that make sure someone has that ability but you know when we you hear that court decision we see what was decided we certainly saw the negative effect and now what we're seeing in thirty states just this year alone all right so what's the process the process is it's a house rose a large aleutian over forty four right now are getting co-sponsors we literally just introduced it officially last week here in the house we're having
organizations look at it gaining support that way i think you know really pivotal are the two main. in court decisions this year that we're going to hear in voting rights that let's start this public conversation because i think just as we started talking about this people believe there is already a right to vote in the constitution there's not just this morning and i did scott's a public radio and someone called in who was calling in to oppose the law and if they're listening to the conversation on their whole they really want to change my mind after listening to this and realizing that you know instead of having many laws that affect voting let's just make it fundamentally you have to prove if you're going to pass a law why would it stop someone from having that right and i think you know the process if we do this now and have to go through this step and have it go through some the interest groups that might be looking at this we can really start building the movement you need to actually get this to be passed because we know it's not easy task but we have to start that conversation especially in light of all these laws so this is a house a house resolution which would become
a bill basically that would call for a constitutional amendment right then this is the beginning of the process to do that and what we're hoping is by having this conversation right now it will will build that momentum because again i think the average person on the street supports it at a fundamental level but how do we build the rest what is this the constitutional amendment the report this is this is what is the cost so yes so is there somebody in the senate who's introducing. this point right now it's keith ellison from minnesota and i are the main authors i think we've got about six or seven original co-sponsors as we dropped the bill and now we're gaining additional sponsors by talking about it as we put it out there but it also has to happen. yeah absolutely but this is the start of at least this roster to do that that is absolutely great and and with regard to this you know ultimately constitutional members not only have to be passed by the house and senate by a super majority but they also have to be ratified by three quarters of the states . are there state organizations or their state groups that are that are interested
in this that are working on this what's what's what's happening in the rest of the united states outside the bubble here the belcher. there's a number of fair vote groups that have already expressed interest on this and in wisconsin united wisconsin is taking some very grassroots steps to try to start build momentum for it i think we're going to see that stretch again especially as we see these two court decisions be decided by the supreme court i think you can find more and more groups are to look at this and say this is a good tool to talk about this right that seems to be slipping away through state legislation so i would guess that you'll find a number of groups that fit those constituencies whether it be seniors or students or low income or other folks that are affected by some of the voting rights laws that we're seeing restricting votes will come out and continue to talk about this and why we have a need for this so we're just at that early process literally a week or two into that process what can individual people do people who are watching the program or listening to the program right now what can they do to support your efforts congressman poe i think you know reach out to your member of
congress and ask them to sign on to the bill it's really important the more you can get sponsors on the more use continue to build interest in the bill you know right editorial letter c. etc to have you can to talk about this and get organizations that are with to try to sign up and have support for it the more we can build this this is only going to come from the grassroots i mean i don't expect the koch brothers to come to our assistance any time soon i think if anything they're going to be opposing all exactly i think they'll do everything they can to try to keep the laws in place that are there are being proposed right now in all these other states so we have to build this from the bottom up we have to get the popular support we have to get the people support for this and if we can do that we can definitely have that conversation about that fundamental right that we have to democracy is that right to vote my brother and i have the sexing thing common in one way with the koch brothers and that's we all have one vote and it counts as one vote so as much as they're going to take their money and use that influence to try to distort the process we all have that fundamental equalizer in that right to vote and we have to
make sure everyone has their own and their then there is no federal right to vote and that's what you're working on exact. actually brilliant congressman polk and also i understand your you're gay and you have a husband and your husband was just granted. rights as a member as the spouse of a member of the house of representatives can you tell us about that this is a this is a and historic thing is the first time in house history what they've done up to this point if you were a same sex couple your partner was your designee very romantic this is might designee and. opposite sex couples have had the spouse ally d. for as long as you know the house has been around providing these i.d.'s we haven't had that right as a same sex couple so my husband i remarried six and half years ago and tronto have been together over ten years so when they try to offer us a designee id i asked for the reason in writing why they were denying it because if
you're going to explore everyone's idea who gets married in canada or another country then i would understand but just wanted a written explanation and they want to provide that so we've been pushing it for about four and a half months and thinks to leader pelosi is office who has been extremely helpful the house leadership officially said he could have that and that's an important step as we continue this process moving forward of making sure that we have full marriage equality and other equality and i'm very proud that we are able to get that done in the house full and equal rights for all absolute ordinary congress and pulled him yank you so much for being with thank you tom really appreciate it. all across america are voting rights are under attack as republicans use the guise of preventing voter fraud to prevent thousands of eligible americans from having a voice in our democracy and we way we can stop these voter suppression efforts is by filling in the gap in our constitution with an amendment that ensures that everyone has every american has the right to vote and to have a say in the democratic process contact your member of congress and tell them you
support the right to vote amend. it up just like he did after hurricane sandy oklahoma senator tom coburn is using yesterday's tornado disaster as a partisan game beats win or republicans give up the political theater and help out the american people more on that tonight big picture politics panel after the break . carlos. slim.
playing politics with disaster in the wake of the vicious tornado that tore through central oklahoma yesterday afternoon the oklahoma senator told a reporter from c.q. roll call that he will absolutely demand offsets for any federal aid to oklahoma that congress provides but does that mean it means only approve a relief package for his home state if it comes on the backs of poor people somewhere else demanding cuts for aid is a pattern for coburn he did the same thing after hurricane sandy this fall but he never seemed to have a problem proving hundreds of billions of dollars for a budget busting war in iraq while george w. bush was in office yesterday's tornado was a disaster so is our country's rising level of inequality and equality that will only get worse if we continue to slash away at our social safety net still another disaster however is the republican party's obsession with turning everything for raising the debt ceiling to approving federal aid for storm victims into a partisan battle for more on this let's turn things over to deny the big picture
politics panel. joining me for tonight's big picture politics panel are tim cavanaugh executive editor of the daily caller that go on editor at the daily banter and he knew some of the member of the national advisory council of the project twenty one black leadership network thank you all for joining us and be here welcome back to all of you. tom coburn this is this just strikes me as extraordinary i mean of all the things that our government does the that we all collectively say you know we're all in this together will agree on that disaster it should be at the top of the pile isn't this isn't this just just. even politics not when we have just secretly raised the debt ceiling again and we're looking at you know a bigger and secretly raising that is you know and i quietly raised the debt ceiling again and i think what you how is it playing politics he's not saying don't
give disaster relief he's just saying are you saying you have to include stamps and kids in new jersey who are these some through he said something else needs to be cut because as with as it is with me when i go to mcdonald's if i don't have enough money i can't get them if not you can issue your own currency and you can float a bond well i that you can do that hasn't really work been working for us the way you know what the world family versus the government metaphor but if you want to extend that most people have a mortgage on their house that several times their annual income range today but they couldn't but they could you mean that have to get it you need to pay it and don't go deeper into debt every every quarter and that's what the government is doing and it's not working and we're looking at a static seven years of economic state i.e. the they do go into debt frequently they get they take out additional mortgage to rid of it their kitchen or something i mean able to smoke in the teeth but best food or meaningful comparison to compare where household economy works and enough to go was it two completely different things number one number two disses and you could give carbon some credit for being he's at least being. well he's been
consistent on this and obama was an off show but back back when bush was in office tom coburn without asking for offsets voted for eighty two billion dollars for iraq and afghanistan forty billion dollars for iraq seventy two billion for war for iraq and afghanistan these are all different different house resolutions that different bills and he voted for seventy billion dollars for the war in iraq and even voted for fifty billion dollars for aid for hurricane katrina bush was president without a word without a peep without a complaint it was brock obama comes in here you want to jump in here there and all of a sudden it's like oh we got we got a couple of food stamps before we could pay for this. is some important points remember back in the end we were well above one hundred percent of national g.d.p. and national debt then we were in yes if we ended george always ran up brand of a five trillion dollars national debt to national g.d.p. was and that was under one hundred percent well under one hundred percent and we had never run a trillion dollar deficit we never made a trillion dollar deficit you know what our deficit what our doubt so g.d.p.
ratio was at the end of world war two it was well twenty nine hundred twenty nine back then we hit yes defeated so what does the white eisenhower do to get us out of that one of the things he did was he built up europe with our greasy balance intelligence over the hallett's to every ounce of all the harder it was budgets for her own money and her people are owed money to get open ash and all highways what date did he said yes that's his but that he settled seven out of his eight yes he's raised taxes eighty ninety one percent top tax rate on the rich roll back the reagan tax cuts we can make it work if you're not going to get what we call it obama decided not to do this the right to tell us that obvious but it's not fair to expect their bomber and administration to work to turn at deficit into a process off to the biggest economic crisis in haiti it was going back quick tell you that reagan will be going higher and do still have the right look at what always gets you to say it let you decide to pay off as you get excited in the last few dollars into it and so will use the republican economics right to solve the
crisis. republicans created in the first place republican economics created but it doesn't make it no not really do you think there is a way that we're going to d.c. right now everywhere else in america the economy is absolutely in the crapper i don't know if a lot of say crapper on this network but. what are we getting for all this debt what is the big payoff that's the question what we're getting right now is we're getting a reversal of eight hundred thousand jobs a month being lost the bush great crash the penultimate end of reaganomics you get it was a desperately disaster before the first before the stimulus even really kicked we saw our first in that in that jobless rate and we also saw the fixing of the fist of the banks through tarp which was a george bush bill so we can't necessarily say for sure for spending but it was a bipartisan spending be a boy it was a spending it was a speech to spend we'll talk about whether that's money called a what me which i have not worked this out and it was already paid back it was already has borrowed money when they are paid back has this has the stimulus in
your alternative or of investing or no i'm not a mandate i'm in favor of smart investments if you're going to raise debt why we're same for if you're going to raise that make sure to help doing it so helping to help people who help people who've had their homes because i just know that more and better how much more could become much poorer only the same be a need to stop and we need to stop overspending somewhere else in the right usual in that way but surely surely not need to be sort of critical about it but so what if they're doing if they're actually trying to do so which are always very obvious as tom coburn suggested that we down and not only terry base would you suggest we close down. all of a name or i would suggest. which all of the president goes ahead and out of i would go it's just go most of the ones overseas i'm not you know i'm not for military spending. and i would never never go along with that and i'm not speaking for tom coburn but if you want to talk about politicizing things what about senator roe whitehouse of rhode island who got up yesterday before literally before the bodies
were called before they had finished digging those. kids out of the school he's out there blaming the republicans for fighting the carbon tax what do you say about barbara boxer i was that we wouldn't if we didn't have the five percent more moisture in our air right now than we had when reagan came into office if we didn't have a full degree warmer we wouldn't have time when there was a no we wouldn't have a two mile wide e.f. five tornado coming across yes. the reason it gets a bit. about this yesterday about this morning about the politicizing this event and i think it's the democrats should hold off and look we should hold off on time it's the global warming right now look anybody if you understand the science knows that clearly there is a link between extreme weather events and global warming that's a proven fact it so does turn out of may or may not have happened we really can't say for sure and i think i do think i would say to other groups that maybe we should hold off on i don't disagree that's like saying well we don't know this so long cancer was caused by smoking although the guy was smoking and we you know we
we did that dance for twenty years with with funding from the tobacco industry that created a group called the tea party back you know for the twenty years that but then again that's been right and that we there's a political situation where we have republicans who are going to turn that into it's what's happening right now and i don't think they deny reality and the spectacle though i get it i put it out so that you get a speed of tom coburn emma said he contributor in miami herald columnist joy re suggested a recent blog post that it may have been that same oklahoma senator who leaked the altered versions of white house been gazi e-mails to a.b.c. following a source who told her to look at the senate committee on homeland security and government affairs to find the e-mail leaker read compare that list with one of the senators on the select intelligence committee the same group that was briefed on the benghazi e-mails back in february she found that one of those senators also sits on the selection committee on intelligence which is the one that my
administration sources got the fed. you were briefing and that person is tom coburn she went on to add that the day before a.b.c. broke the e-mail story coburn the day before coburn said this. well i think the state department has real trouble having said on the intelligence committee and seen this the the the review of e-mails that went back and forth as they develop the list there's a there's a glaring problem there that will eventually come out and i can't talk about it now but there was an omission that was given to the intelligence committee so that doesn't this all warrant hughey a congressional investigation i still think there are a lot of a lot of unanswered questions about being god what i understand if there's some e-mail that was some e-mail that was doctored i'm not really sure exactly what happened but there is one clear thing we know for a fact that sixty seven hours of e-mail traffic was not given up by the white house that's number one number two we still don't have a source for someone that said where the accusation that the video calls the calls
what happened in benghazi versus an arcadia so somebody knows of the somebody jockey years a white house you know they actually change it and they give that to a.b.c. news and say here put this on the air and and jonathan karl goes on the air and says hey here's exactly what it says in quotes he was wrong and he was lied to by a republican you don't think that's worthy of a congressional of us to be desk worthy of a congressional investigation but it still doesn't exonerate or accept blame what happened it's not actually what happened you need to replenish piece what had washington post to where he gave three pinocchio's to that claim they were the e-mails they were on and not take not don't take them with you basis there were notes made about the e-mails it was a readout situation where you wrote down what was in this is why so john they think they are all lies that having a version in talking points this is what no this was in the original briefing these people on the committee were not allowed to take the this is i'm following kessler you need to check with that check with that article glenn kessler in the so you're
talking about tom. taking notes or other people i read that does not have some slam dunk thing that it has to be tom coburn they could have it there could have been other leakers on the select committee there's no data to her her putting the two i think called out it was an entry is a journalist something new something that's obviously different he's talking about the data that came from the administration was lacking the sixty seven hours by chance the sixty said the first sixty seven hours the ones that actually matter are the ones that have not been released by the administration so are you saying no are you saying that it is wrong for someone working for the government to go on national t.v. and say something that they know is false i'm saying this was a horrible tragedy and the republicans are doing everything they can to try to politicize that's called checks and balances i think it's about a word i don't like that is for this specific thing the doctoring of the e-mails there were different oh this is why i shouldn't this is why you don't see the subside down i mean the republicans are consistently it's all in the same audience
coming up for security i'm sure a lot of concern and from jonathan karl you didn't you saw slight differences in all of their versions because it was different no takers if we put this one to rest naaman isn't it pretty clear that the white house didn't do anything wrong or the republicans have been using this what difference does it make to fix the here certainly they made some they made mistakes there was clearly mistakes made. you can see the mails but the interagency. trying to cover their bases trying to cover the mistakes they made big really made some mistakes right. was the white house being disingenuous when it when it made it made the statements that it made no it wasn't it wasn't that's pretty clear for any rational person is pretty clear it was not being disingenuous when they were making the case they release the if they were trying to cover up why would they release one of those the most why would they want to if it makes sense you know because they had because they should make sure the later six months of constant pressure they were forced into it right in this and i
welcome back joining me for tonight's big picture politics panel are tim cavanaugh ben cohen and huey newsome as let's get back to it according to a report issued by the senate are minutes subcommittee on investigations on monday apple apple corporation uses a network of foreign affiliate corporations to avoid paying taxes here in the united states report also noted that apple the wealthiest corporation the world third most profitable and planet keeps one hundred two billion of its one hundred forty five billion dollars in cash overseas and in fact apparently the way they work this thing is that in ireland if you're in ireland corp but your but your principal place of business is someplace else you pay taxes where your principal
place of businesses in the united states if you're a u.s. corporate if you're an irish corporation you don't pay us taxes and so ireland so apple has incorporated ireland but they keep their headquarters in cupertino so they say the u.s. government we're not a u.s. citizen we don't pay taxes they say the irish government we're not doing business here we don't pay taxes you know pay taxes to anybody anywhere it's mind boggling that's not true that's not true they still pay taxes last year they didn't pay taxes on this on this particular holding but this is the you know what we're going to hold of tens of billions of dollars just they still pay hundreds of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes last year so let's be fair because they're it's going to they're huge an incredibly profitable and a great part was at least seventy people that doing appears to be illegal i mean i would be willing to go but yeah they have a point that it was not technically doing anything wrong i mean we can't is another goes to show you just so pretty soon every american corporation is doing the site any tax whatsoever it would well it's a little you know well did she is and there's plenty of companies doing this type
of thing but i believe this is all money that was earned overseas this was not money earned in the united states this is no that's that's the here's how they here's how they play the game. if you're making and will take this out of apple's sphere if you're making washing machines in malaysia and you are selling them in the united states you see it you create two divisions to two separate corporations right they could be owned by the third corporation the marine corp this corporation is making a washing machine cost of forty dollars to make it they're going to sell it for two hundred forty dollars the united states how much does this does this corporation sell out washing machine to this corporation for if you want to keep all the money in malaysia you sell that washing machine for two hundred thirty five dollars and it retails for two hundred forty five dollars a profit the u.s. you show two hundred dollars a profit in malaysia ok and that's essentially how it works if on the other hand you want to keep all that profit in the u.s. company you sell that washing machine for forty dollars the manufactured cost of the u.s. corporation and they show the profit and the products are actually made overseas in
most cases yes exactly i mean why why this why does the u.s. tax man have a right to that money if malaysia wants cause tax law because this is an american company using american patent law to protect and merican copyright law to protect american isn't products that are being sold to americans in america in america but the question is what would you have apple do differently i have i do have them pay us taxes ok we'll need laws and we're joined by the way what ireland would have them do if they were if they were domiciled in ireland most countries require corporations that are both the citizen of that country and domicile my country to pay taxes regardless of where they're doing business with don't if you want stupid about if you want the money to come back into the united states you know we do repatriation tax which is you know we all profits the repatriated or are taxed at the income rate right so there's no it's profit but barely any developing developed country actually does that so money is going to flow but they don't do that
actually because they because they have they have domicile laws where you know you don't have german corporations that are station money in indonesia it's not happening that's not that's not told the truth though that's not totally true if you look at japan and if you look at. germany there if it differs by those corporate japanese i guarantee if sony is pan taxes on their earnings in japan japan. would you like which would you do you think they should have the top want i want the tax code to be simplified so the g.'s of the world that they no corporate income tax are going to thousand and ten or the next maybe maybe because jeff immelt the president's jobs council of the cronyism that might take place i want everybody to pay a lower fair tax instead of ok i should but. now do you agree that that base interpretation of the new of the op with this pretty clever if you look at what i've done is incredibly it's a clever way of doing it. should they be allowed to do that should there be such a loophole that allows a company u.s. company to be there if i didn't know that it's just not true this is the only u.s.
companies from that set up whatever systems they can but also because you know you are in america so you are an official. you know we have even less reason to trust the i.r.s. this week that we did last week and i don't you know judge learned hand said there is nothing wrong with setting up one's affairs so as to pay the least amount of taxes you know what he told agreeing with that he wanted to let me know he was having was in front of the senate today they had to answer for all this they got raked in front of the coals the c.e.o. got publicly humiliated and if you want to do something about it and then and here's and here's the exact problem apropos of that you had rand paul who is looking at who has or is already out silicon valley looking for money because he wants to run for president in order to engage in politics in the united states you've got to go to rich people and you've got to go to big corporations and beg for their dollars and so you had rand paul basically saying you know to the president or the c.e.o. of apple will you please bend over so i can kiss your bottom i mean in this you
know because i'm going to be asking you for some money pretty soon i mean you know a really it was it was it was embarrassing what he was saying he was saying instead of investigating now what we're going to be investigating the federal government. i believe are in. paul has a pretty good track record of a believing that we should not be punishing success lou tax savings and leaving the billionaire should run the world in and not and not with you we the people you know what it's not billionaires who are voting for him and it's not billionaires who got singled out for audits by the i.r.s. that's true those weren't audit's those were really they go in there and they're albury for a special six or seven out of her special level it's an audit when you examine something you know a lot of it is they're going to resist it whatever whatever to someone funny thing the standard that we have managed not to talk about ok well the believe it or not i've found he may he may find this interesting believe it or not i find something the mitch mcconnell and i agree on back in one nine hundred eighty seven he told c.-span that he was against the abuse of the tax code by five a one c four groups take a look. or restrictions now on the kinds of activities that for example the five
zero one c three and four going to nations charitable organizations can gauge and they're being abused not just by people on the right but most of the so-called charitable organizations who are involved in political activity in this country who are in my judgment involved in arguable violations of their. tax free status so isn't time that we just enough already if you're engaged in politics i thought i'd say even the political parties if you're engaged in politics if you're promoting politics if you're hustlin politics we're not going to subsidize you by paying for your your roads and your police and your fire we're not going to give you tax exempt status absolutely that may be worth revisiting these to these exemption laws may be worth revisiting but that doesn't make this scandal go away which is about selection of people who just by chance happened to be opponents of the president of the aisle they were going also to worry the other day
about to get a show called the rock h. obama foundation founded by the president's half brother which had its five hundred one c three application approved in the west that a month by lois lerner retroactively but the electrodes would leave that to even though it had been illegally in the soliciting funds without examining approval of what particular years because of an honest man with a link to a poem of the guy who was head of the argus was a bush appointee so should some of us learn right lois lerner who was the person who was selecting the so. are you saying that obama posted the or somebody in a situation post and he said to the i.r.s. targeting tea party well then i want to. see is there any evidence whatsoever it's just a tiny bit of evidence we have it is your life maybe you have just the beginning of the agony but you can't make the accusation with evidence but i did what it boiled my accusation i make and this is you let you know by this fact that this so called charitable foundation got its approval in less than
a month and. rocky and similar only going into the election of two they had nothing suspicious there don't look any further i went into the election beginning of this investigation going into the election of two thousand and four you had you had a church out in pasadena california where the pastor got up to give a sermon and this was a week before the election and said george bush is preemptive war policy is not something jesus would have supported the arabs came down on him like a ton of bricks. at the same time you had right wing churches across america passing out voter guides with republican candidates checked off even then i.r.s. didn't look at that as your money so let's go ahead and get rid of the status but if whatever we want to do we need to make sure that we're not selectively forcing whatever the laws are. we can we can all agree about that and we. yes the supreme court said they granted cert they said we're going to listen to a case this is a case where the second appeals the second sort of sort of court of appeals said it was a violation the establishment clause of the constitution which says the. government
shall not establish an official religion for the united states for a for a city this was the city of greece new york to have a prayer before they officially have occurred before the open. and in support of the appeal forty nine members of congress presumably all republican senate amicus brief affirm of the corporation supreme court that said that legislative breyer is quote important for policymaking bodies both the solemn official occasions and to seek god's blessing wisdom and guidance making consequential decisions so do you think that these forty nine republicans would have sent that letter to the supreme court if they had instead written having a prayer before meetings is important for policy making bodies both the solomons official occasions and to seek a law as blessing wisdom and guidance and making consequential decisions or. or vishnu writing together we would care about she ever. but my point i mean i
don't i don't you know how can forty nine elected members of congress be so ignorant i cannot believe a religious exemption on this i'm an act of faith i just don't care it doesn't it doesn't matter to me and i don't think it doesn't matter to you that religious people might be taking over your government they took of the government a little time ago that i think the religious people are running this country for no i'm talking about passing. laws forcing religion on you know this is i mean this is a new thing this was americans united for separation of church and state trying to stop this prayer from happening right now listen the city of new york called greece anyway it's a bankrupt country. you know i'm from from england and we there's no separation between church and state so the queen is the head of the church right so we don't this issue doesn't really come up so i'm always that. if you're concerned with the constitution your concern with. it to you should be what you should be concerned about from my perspective not out of hewitt we have thirty seconds and so yes i
don't see how the establishment clause is being violated here no one is forcing someone else to practice religion i don't get it well you if you're this is your job you're there and you can as part of your fishel duties you can it's thing you can abstain from saying the prayer but you're still part of the prayer you're not you're you're ratified by your presence i disagree with that rule just choose not to bow your head so i see it's been done up and play the bugle or something you say mean that's what we're going to the school kids everybody else nobody motel six years ago to the bible in the drawer if you don't want to open the door you have at the motel six is not the government there's a difference and it will be they've been doing these convocation timur ever jim crow and tim cavanaugh ben cone and you some thank you thank you for. coming up i never thought i would say this but last night someone on fox news actually got it right i'll explain why but i didn't take.
a potentially deadly blizzard taking aim for the northeast it's expected to hit stunning in a few hours from new york to maine we have team coverage of the storm. but we're watching is the very heavy snow moving into boston properly or today it was very sticky. you can see it start to become much more patrie down the line there's still a lot of snow out here a good place for snowball fight if. anything it is going to pretty incredible day there and even record snowfall throughout much of the night nobody's allowed to be driving lessons from emergency vehicles.
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more and despise the separation of church and state because it prevents them from injecting religious doctrine into everyday life in our country and when battles do erupt over the separation of church and state religion conservatives who often decided to wage campaigns of threats harassment and even physical violence all in an attempt to silence those who support the first amendment joining me now for more on this is adam lee columnist with alter net and salon and author of the book daylight atheism adam welcome. hi tom it's good to be here thanks for joining us i understand animals and pets have been murdered by religious right members looking to scare off first amendment plaintiffs fighting for separation of church and state really is this common. it's not common but it does happen horrible as it is there there was a case in two thousand and four in south carolina where a woman named darla kay when who was a wiccan objected to sectarian christian prayers at her town council and when she
filed a lawsuit to ask that they be stopped someone broke into her house killed several of her pet cats killed their pet parrot left a note by the body that said your next this is this happened to other people to one of the most famous church state precedence was the mccollum versus board of education case in the forty's again same thing when they they filed a lawsuit that family to put a stop to official clergy sponsored religion classes in public school someone lynched their cat and hung it from a tree it's just one of the many measures of illegal intimidation that are often used against church state plaintiffs it's mind boggling what happened last year in pennsylvania with the freedom from religion foundation. yes well. this is a case that's still going on there's actually two school districts in pennsylvania . kensington a new connell's ville that had a large granite ten commandments monuments outside public schools and when the
freedom from religion foundation filed lawsuits saying this is this is unconstitutional which is in line with well established precedent they ask that the plaintiffs be granted anonymity by the court because there had been threats made against them on social media and in response to this that the court found that these threats were serious enough to grant their request for an immediate in response a republican state representative filed a bill ordering that in church state cases plaintiffs would not be allowed to be anonymous basically hoping that people would take the law into their own hands and bully them into dropping the case it's incredible are these almost exclusively or entirely exclusively christians who are pushing for the merger of church and state or are there other religions that are that are trying to shove that agenda. except on very rare occasions if it's christians which is obviously what you'd expect in a country that's still about seventy five to eighty percent christian but the interesting thing is that the plaintiffs in these cases are not all atheists
a lot of them are also christians there are just christians of different denominations who object to having beliefs that are not their own forced on them and in many cases they still get persecuted for it speaking as a guy who's actually read the bible four times in fact cover to cover i know jesus there's one point where he says you know maybe this was paul's but whatever you know if people don't accept you in their town dust not to dust off your shoes as you leave town. it wasn't like you know get their face a killer pats. you know he talked about you know turn the other cheek or you know don't judge others be judged i mean this is a religion that theoretically teaches tolerance. law and patience it certainly doesn't seem like it's being practiced by the people who want to force it on us as part of our government. and there's another verse i can cite from the gospel of
matthew where jesus says that people who pray in public are hypocrites who want to look pious oh yeah and that if you want if you want to be rewarded you should go into your closet and shut the door and pray privately but i you know a lot of christians i guess these people either haven't read the bible or kind of gloss over that part because they think it's more important to put on a show of who's really in charge well it's selective interpretation just like you know that you don't see people protesting the fact that people are wearing clothing made out of two different kinds of fabric is in deuteronomy along with the you know gay sex i mean is that in any case we have just a just a couple seconds left adam lee do you see the tide turning you see tolerance returning to our country are we starting to wake up. well i think so i think america is becoming a much more religiously diverse and even a more non-religious nation the number of christians is declining the number of non-religious people is going up which is in accord with what's happening in europe in a lot of other countries so i think within the past few years america became less than
fifty percent protestant for the first time ever so hopefully this increasing diversity will lead to a greater amount of tolerance and understanding for different beliefs hopefully and the church of the flying spaghetti monster is growing i think that's good for us adamantly thank you for joining us that i thank you very much. it's just. it's the good the bad of the very very horrid days just really ugly but good for the state government of vermont at two pm on monday afternoon brought governor peter shumlin signed into law a bill that legalized physician assisted suicide that state the new death with dignity law both allows terminally ill vermonters to end their lives of their own pollution and provides legal amnesty for those positions will help with the procedures for models only the fourth state in the nation after montana oregon and
washington to allow physician assisted death and is the first to do so through its legislature alone good work for the ability to deal with complicated issues like end of life choice is the mark of a truly mature society. the bad senator chuck grassley during a monday senate debate on immigration reform the senior u.s. senator from iowa needed a little help from his colleagues to understand racial profiling after illinois senator dick durbin blasted grassley for posing an amendment that would allow federal officers to quote take into account an individual's country of origin and quote during immigration proceedings i was senator responded by. asking what does country of origin have to do with profiling. really senator grassley you're a thirty two year veteran of the senate and you don't know the answer to that question dick durbin eventually explain the connection to his colleagues but to his colleague but all in all this was just an arrow scene and frankly rather disturbing
moment from the senator and a very very ugly lez in solving in yesterday's world net daily the conservative pundit compared homosexuality to these reality and comment titled when only additional b n l g b t he wrote if lesbians male homosexuals bisexuals and transsexuals should have the right to marriage licenses as a few states including maryland now provide why should the real animal lovers whose orientation is b.c. ality not be allowed to marry. really is twenty thirteen and you're still making these comparisons less that's just very dear. mr martin a mole or warned us of the importance of speaking out when we see our rights or
roading he famously wrote about his time in the da concentration camp first they came for the communists and i did speak up because i was in a communist and they came to the socialists and i did speak out because i was in a socialist and they came for the trade unionists and i didn't speak up because i wasn't a trade union unionist and they came for the jews and i didn't speak out because i wasn't a jew then they came for the catholics i did speak up because i was a catholic and they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me. he reminds us of the dangers of not recognizing creeping incrementalism when small steps are being taken to a bridge or rights laying the foundation for larger steps that will ultimately take away all of our rights which brings us to what's happening right now in the with the media in the united states where our founders formed our nation they named only one industry in the constitution they didn't argue that the ship building industry needed to be protected at all costs or agriculture even the arms industry they
didn't even think the legislative branch was all that important but in the first amendment to the constitution our founders wrote that congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. our founders wanted to protect the press the fourth the state the functional fourth branch of government they realized that freedom of the press was essential they recognize that a nation could not be strong without a press able to operate outside of the realm of government oversight or government control fact thomas jefferson once famously said that we're left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government i should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. but times have changed since our constitution was written and today what is supposed to be a free press is under attack from our government slowly but surely our government is infringing upon the rights of the media and eating away at freedom of the press nowhere is there more evident than with the ongoing a.p.
leak scandal and with the new revelation that fox news reporter james rosen was investigated by the department of justice for his coverage of the state department and north korea in both of these cases the federal government subpoenaed hundreds of e-mails and phone call records under the guise of national security but what the federal government seems to have forgotten is the freedom of the press if it is to work as the press it must be nearly absolute that there should be no boundaries to the protection of that right it's a sad commentary on our times when i find myself agreeing with brit hume over at fox news that last night he was right on point about the federal government's recent intrusion into the workings of the press. there are legitimate national security secrets that is the government's job to protect and when they leak out the government has it as a right in a duty to investigate but what the government has traditionally done in the past is to investigate the leak girl and not if you will the leak he and that that provides
the balance between the government's job to do to find out what happened and the press is right to pursue information that's the way it's been done before that's the way to seem to have been going up until now traditionally when there were leaks to the press the government has investigated but investigated the source of the leak it is not gone directly after the journalists or the reporter who reported on the leak or if they did they did it in a very public fashion like judith miller refusing to testify and going to jail new york times but now it appears that our government is going after both the source of the leak and the members of the media reporting on it and not only is that unprecedented it's unconstitutional and this should concern us all i don't want to end up channeling pastor name and saying something like first they came for the a.p. and fox news is james rosen but i wasn't part of the a.p. and i didn't particularly like fox news so i didn't speak up. so i'm speaking up now. freedom of the press needed to be protected in seventeen eighty seven and it
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good afternoon to welcome the prime enjoy as time perry and boring reporting and washington d.c. and here's the stories that i've been looking at today. jamie is safe america's mayor had a leader of j.p. morgan chase has retained his role as chairman of the board is rumored some of the other board members of the board members will soon be departing but for now the too big to fail heads are breathing a sigh of relief as this proxy war was seen by some as a proxy on the entire industry keep your fingers crossed the other hand. out. this you feel bad that was the u.s. hitting the debt ceiling over the weekend this is no longer a front page or even page six news event is under remarkable event went largely unnoticed.